Color video documentary in Spanish with English subtitles. The documentary is composed of two segments, the first about the arepa, a food made from fried cornmeal that is a major part of the cultural history of the Antioquia region in Colombia. It is eaten at every meal by people in the region. The second segment, "El Trompo," focuses on toy spinning tops in Columbia. People appreciate the top because it is common to many cultures and has the ability to unite generations under one skill set. We see a lot of footage of top experts and hear their opinions about the toy's enduring significance. This tape documents a moment of cultural change for this region of Columbia, poised at a moment when it is still unclear how modernization is going to mesh with tradition.
0:00Copy video clip URL La Arepa. Color video. In Spanish with English subtitles. Documentary about the arepa, a food made from fried cornmeal that is a major part of the cultural history of the Antioquia region in Colombia. The arepa is made in different varieties, one resembling a corn tortilla and the other resembling more of a fried dumpling. It is eaten at every meal by people in this region. It is traditionally made with a specific type of corn that is mixed with ashes to peel it, then is ground to a paste with stones, formed into the shape (either flat or round) and fried. Much of the tape focuses on the fact that modern conveniences are replacing traditional ways of preparing the arepa. While rural families tend to continue to make arepas by hand (although a hand-cranked grinder has replaced the stones), arepas have begun to be mass produced by factories. Many of the people in this video worry about the effect of this “progress”, because the arepa is considered a symbol of regional identity and is considered “the great integrator”, since people across all classes ate them every day. One man explains, “A mythical part of the family till the 1950s is now found in plastic in supermarkets…[and Antioquia] has suffered a loss of culture.” While Antioquians are unanimous in their feeling that “a breakfast is not a breakfast without an arepa, a lunch is not a lunch without an arepa, etc,” the women do admit that men have quite a different perspective on the food. While the men simply eat them, the women devote most of their lives to making them. One woman commented, “Arepas are great for men, but not for women.” Another issue visited in the video is the health problems caused by the traditional wood ovens used to cook arepas. A doctor informs us about the chronic lung disorders faced by those who breathe in this smoke day in and day out. Because of these health issues, the government has also played a part in the changes facing the production of arepas. This tape documents a moment of change for this region of Columbia, poised at a moment when it is still unclear how modernization is going to mesh with tradition.
27:40Copy video clip URL El Trompo. Color video. In Spanish with English subtitles. Documentary about toy tops in Columbia. People appreciate the top because it is common to all cultures and has the ability to unite generations as skills are passed down. We see a lot of footage of top experts at their craft and hear their opinions on its enduring significance.